VIEUX LION ROUGE's only defeat under Rules so far came in last season's Champion Bumper. He had no trouble getting off the mark over hurdles at the first time of asking here two weeks ago on similar going and is more likely than the mare Lady Charisma to defy his penalty. The latter just scraped home at Towcester in November and shapes as though she'll be suited by further in time. Civil War, a winner on the Polytrack as a three-year-old, was a respectable second at Plumpton on his hurdling debut and can make the frame again as none of the others have much chance on what they've shown so far.
Vieux Lion Rouge (FR) 4-9fav (11-4) Tracked clear leader, challenged 2 out, led before last, kept on well, won at Wincanton 2m nov hdl (4) hvy beating Revaader (10-11) by 4l, 8 ran.
A Keen Sense (GER) 50-1 (11-0) Towards rear, pushed along halfway, soon struggling, never on terms, tailed off, 8th of 11, 31l behind Call Me Vic (10-9) at Warwick 2m NH flat (6) sft in Dec.
Amazing Scenes (IRE) 33-1 (11-6) In touch towards rear, last and pushed along 3rd, tailed off 8th, pulled up after, in a race won by Carole's Destrier (11-3) at Huntingdon 2m 5f mdn hdl (5) hvy, 8 ran.
Bostin (IRE) 100-1 (10-5) Always behind, 8th of 12, well behind Strollawaynow (10-12) at Exeter 2m 3f nov hdl (4) sft.
Civil War (IRE) 9-2 (11-5) Held up towards rear, headway before 3 out, chased winner from 2 out, every chance last, one pace, 2nd of 9, 2 3/4l behind Dubawi Island (11-12) at Plumpton 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy.
Dream Lucky Bandmaster gelding out of Sheilas Dream.
King's Warrior (FR) 7-1 (11-4) Towards rear, steady headway into modest 6th approaching 3 out, blundered last, weakened and eased flat, tailed off, 8th of 13, well behind Mountain King (11-4) at Ludlow 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy.
Ma'ire Rua (IRE) 200-1 (11-0) Always towards rear, 11th of 16, 42l behind Stand To Reason (11-0) at Wincanton 2m mdn hdl (5) gd in Dec.
No No Cardinal (IRE) 33-1 (11-1) Chased leaders, went 2nd 3 out, led soon after, ridden and headed before 2 out, driven 2 out, soon weakened, 8th of 14, 27l behind Argaum (11-1) at Newton Abbot 2m 1f sell hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gf in Sep.
Springhill Lad 33-1 (10-12) Unseated rider 1st, in a race won by Strollawaynow (10-12) at Exeter 2m 3f nov hdl (4) sft, 12 ran.
Steel Summit (IRE) 80-1 (10-13) Chased clear leading trio, lost 4th before 5th, weakened before 3 out, 6th of 13, 35l behind Mountain King (11-4) at Ludlow 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy.
Upham Running (IRE) 100-1 (10-12) Mid-division, fell 1st, in a race won by Madness Light (10-9) at Lingfield 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Dec, 12 ran.
Lady Charisma 4-1 (10-12) Reluctant to line up, led into start, tracked leaders, took keen hold, not fluent 1st, went 2nd before 2 out, strong challenge when made last, rallied to lead post, won at Towcester 2m (4) gs in Nov beating Born To Benefit (11-1) by ns, 10 ran.
Early Bonnet (IRE) 66-1 (10-6) Always towards rear, tailed off, 11th of 13, well behind Mountain King (11-4) at Ludlow 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy.